India

"Look At India, It's Filthy": Donald Trump Shifts Blame On Climate Change

Donald Trump denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change. (AFP)

New Delhi:

US President Donald Trump today described the air in India, China and Russia as "filthy" as he defended his decision to withdrew from the Paris climate accord, which, he said, would have made America a non-competitive nation.

"Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy. I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly," he said during a debate with Democratic White House challenger Joe Biden.

"I will not sacrifice millions of jobs... thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord. It is very unfair," he said at the televised debate in which the two candidates avoided shaking hands due to safety risks.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal used the US President's remarks to take a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has often addressed Mr Trump as "friend".

Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla, meanwhile, urged PM Modi to give a strong response to the US President. "Remember how our IRON LADY Martyr Indira Gandhi ji took on the US & showed Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon their place," he tweeted.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said regretted the "unfortunate comments" made by the US leader and added that India stands committed to climate change goals.

In 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a global agreement in which President Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had played a key role. The Paris climate accord aims to cap global warming "well below" two degrees Celsius.

Mr Trump's remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.

The US President has repeatedly blamed countries like India and China for not doing enough on climate change.

India is the fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, accounting for 7 per cent of global emissions in 2017, according to the projection by the Global Carbon Project published in December, 2018.

The top four emitters in 2017, which covered 58 per cent of global emissions, were China (27 per cent), the US (15 per cent), the European Union (10 per cent) and India (7 per cent), it said.

With inputs from agencies